When Relax Gaming launched its product a decade ago, the iGaming industry sensed something big was coming our way - and we weren't wrong.
Gradually launching product after product throughout the years, Relax Gaming positioned itself as a trustworthy, quality B2B multi-product provider recognised for delivering unique content at an unrivalled speed-to-market.
The company releases note-worthy slots regularly with a dedication to continuously challenge the status quo. One such game that grabbed our attention was Relax's latest release - Helios’ Fury slot.
To get more background information on the slot creation, its inspiration, and everything that went into creating and releasing it, we talked to Zach Pisani, Game Product Owner at Relax Gaming Ltd.
Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt themed slots are probably among the most popular and most commonly used thematic outlines for slots out there. Although there's nothing ordinary or dull about the Helios' Fury slot, why have you decided to go with such a common theme?
There is an abundance of Ancient Greek themed games, and though we did go down this mythological route, the tale of the Colossus of Rhodes is yet to be portrayed in a slot game allowing for some familiarity with an entirely fresh take to the genre. Additionally, the game’s features are portrayed so well by the fleet of Spartan ships attacking Rhodes, and being defended by Helios that it fit too well not to be utilised.
Would you say that Helios' Fury follows a different type of narrative to slots of a similar type? What sets Helios' Fury apart from other slots with the same/similar theme?
The key difference is the narrative itself, there are endless variants of Greek God themed games out there, but none explore the story of the Colossus of Rhodes, allowing for a fresh take on a classic theme. With so many games on the market nowadays, apart from having a great mechanic, we need to differentiate the themes we are using as much as possible so the story of Helios will offer something new for players to enjoy.
It's extraordinary how you've segmented Helios' Fury into two graphical dimensions, both equally impactful.
On the one hand, we've got its calm, oil-painting-picturesque backdrop. On the other, there's the gameboard itself that's exciting and dramatic, featuring a very "alive" bronze statue of the Greek Sun God, Helios next to it that seems to react to triggered wild wins, respins and bonus rounds. Essentially, it's drama and excitement on top and chill in the back. We've seen this visual contrast with your Volatile Vikings slot, too. Is this a new design direction you'll be serving us in the future? What inspires you most when starting a new slot design?
By having a calm backdrop in the main game, and a 3D modelled Colossus by the reels we are able to really make the most important aspects of the game pop and stand out easily.
We want the main point of focus to be on the reel area, by having slightly contrasting styles in the background and on the reels and Colossus, it helps draw the attention to where the big wins are. Having a background that is calmer in the base game than in free spins also helps to create differentiation in the bonus features where the setting changes, creating a surge of excitement and emphasising that this is where the biggest wins can be made!
This is a principle that I always aim to abide by; how it is accomplished will vary from game to game by the theme and graphical style that we opt to use.
Inspiration for a game’s design stems from the features it includes, the aim is always to make the feature flow as easy to comprehend as possible while being creative and making it as visually appealing and exciting as we can. From that, we can create a bunch of theme concepts and narrow down what we think depicts the game in the best way possible.
Relax Gaming is known for its substantial max win caps. Helios' Fury has 50,000x, so can players expect this game to pay out these huge multipliers like previous releases?
The max wins in our games are something that we strive to make achievable, rather than including a theoretical max win that can never really be achieved, so I fully expect that we will see these wins obtained before too long.
Players get 99 win ways in the base game, with the bonus round grid increasing to 5x5, awarding 259 win ways. What inspired you to create a winning scheme like this one in Helios' Fury?
The payout mechanic, being connected ways in the case of Helios’ Fury, derives from the core features of the game, progressive wilds in the free spins, a multitude of additional free spins and an expanding game area are a recipe for massive win potential and highly volatile game.
The beauty of utilising connected ways in this game is that we retain the ease of recognising winning combinations while managing the volatility of a high variance game.
What would you say is the standout feature of Helios' Fury, and why? How do you think it relates to players, i.e., how does it satisfy their gaming expectations?
The standout feature is certainly the wilds in the game as they affect essentially everything, they are the reason that re-spins occur in the base game, the trigger for free spins being awarded and how you generate the biggest wins in the free spins.
Centring the focus around one core aspect of a game makes it very easy to learn and visualise how the biggest wins in the game are made, something which is even more important when we have a max win of 50,000x bet as we previously mentioned.
In Helios’ Fury the goal is to accumulate as many wilds as you can while clustering them in a way that can guarantee huge wins spin after spin, what's more satisfying than that!
What challenges would you say you have to overcome to get a game out and to a deadline? Did you have any difficulties with this one?
It is important that from the start of a project the vision of how we want the game to look and play is shared by everyone in the team. Everyone is on the same page and has the same goal, to make the best game that we can, team comradery is always high and this mitigates any delays that we have during productions.
Speaking of Helios' Fury overall development process, how long did it take from your initial idea to the finished product? And generally, how long would you say developing a game takes, i.e., one that meets your and players' standards?
The entire production time varies from game to game, we only start productions on games that we are truly happy with so if there is an idea which we like, we take the time to get it right before production starts.
Some games work immediately as initially envisioned, and do not require as long to prototype, while others ideas may need some tweaking in order to play as well as we want them to. Some additional time during the production of a game may be allocated to games that we deem to potentially be the best performers of the year, but isn’t always necessary.
As a company, you’ve got a very sweet track record when it comes to the frequency of releasing slots. Are you planning on releasing a new game soon? Something to tell us exclusively before everyone else knows?
In recent months we have increased the number of slots that are being released, something that we plan on continuing to do. We strive to release games that we are proud to make and would play ourselves and won’t be releasing games for the sake of increasing the number of games released.
I can’t spill the beans on particular games being released in the future but we are hugely excited about the upcoming titles for the remainder of Q4 and have some surprises in store for next year!